Expeditionary Learning

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Expeditionary Learning : Kids Explore Worlds, Teachers Discover Creativity

New York City, United States
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

To decrease the achievement gap in America's education system, organizations prioritize raising test scores or whole child development. Despite relative success, sacrifices in critical thinking, resilience, and empathy reveal test scores approaches fail children. Yet even within non-cognitive skill development, debate centers on what children should be learning, not how, with best practices and effective pedagogy rarely spreading between schools.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Expeditionary Learning tears down the artificial wall between academic learning and citizen education. As a learning laboratory, EL strives to discover the key to rigorous creative education, developing the Common Core Standards, a suite of curricular models, instructional practices, and student activities for teachers to adapt to their needs. The EL model comprises a series of months-long, cross-curricular explorations of a particular subject area, culminating in projects designed for real-world audiences—videos, books, artwork, launched ventures—all conceived of and produced by students. Combined with its instrument for soft skills assessment, EL’s curriculum and professional development training are transforming the education landscape.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

A network of 165 schools in 31 states, Expeditionary Learning serves over 45,000 students and 4,000 teachers every day. With its innovative curricula, EL has seen students’ achievement improve significantly, gaining 12 points in reading and 9 points in math, especially for hispanic, black, and low-income children. Moreover, EL’s diagnostics reveal increasing benefits over time, schools with longer investments in EL curriculum seeing greater student achievement every year. Beyond statistical success, EL students have produced hundreds of quality reports, documentaries, and ventures, changing public mindset, disseminating through iTunes, and innovating for tomorrow. The statistical success of such unconventional curriculum has popularized the EL model, with nationwide adoption of the Common Core State Standards and New York’s implementation of 18 EL modules in grades 3, 4, and 5.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While other innovative solutions piecemeal educational models, Expeditionary Learning creates a systematic approach to rigorous citizen education. EL's unprecedented network of both public district and charter schools uniquely positions it to change how educators everywhere conceive of their model. Such diverse perspectives inform EL’s exploratory curriculum based on best practices in the field, rather than an independent team. To ensure successful implementation, EL then organizes teacher trainings for school leaders of all levels. With such a comprehensive approach, EL provides both the idea and the tools to revolutionize education.


I believe that a child starts imitating the activities of others right from the stage of infancy, and it is a part of growing up. Let the little kid indulge in physical activities, and when you go out for an evening walk, don’t forget to carry your baby in a stroller, as it will help knowing his surroundings in a better way.